Okay, so on Monday I wrote about how I was going to give up on the blog move for the time being so I could get back to blogging because I missed it...
...is it really Thursday?
I know I've gone through times before when I've had difficulty blogging on anything like a schedule, but this has been a fairly long dry spell for me. Other bloggers I know have gone through this, and have dealt with it in various ways: blogging more, blogging less, blogging about different topics to stretch themselves a bit, and so on. Some end up giving up blogging altogether.
I'm not ready to do that, but it seems to me as though there's been a bit of a change in my corner of the Catholic blogosphere. Since Pope Francis became our pope, it seems as though American Catholic bloggers are lining up in "for" or "against" camps whenever Pope Francis says or does anything; in fact, I'd say that what happens looks something like this:
1. Pope Francis says or does something.
2. American Catholic bloggers lament and wring their hands about how this is yet more proof that Pope Francis is making mistake after mistake and will soon be plunging us back into the nightmare of felt banners, tie-dyed vestments, and anything-goes liturgical abuses. Not to mention the musical stylings of the St. Louis Jesuits. The horror.
3. Other American Catholic bloggers challenge the first group and discuss (and sometimes even show, with examples) how what Pope Francis is saying/doing is a) perfectly compatible with Catholic teaching and action and b) was said/done by Pope Benedict XVI and/or any number of his predecessors and therefore c) does not imply any rolling back of the reform of the reform.
4. The first group mutters about ultramontanism and/or complains that when they say that Pope Francis (with his cold dead eyes and unsettling appearance) is the biggest and most serious threat to traditional Catholicism they are speaking from fonts of charity and love that the other blogging Catholics can't possibly understand (especially since everybody knows you never experience that sort of charity and love at those hippy-dippy Conciliar "Masses" with their clapping and chatting and circus atmosphere--and did we mention that Pope Francis hates the Latin Mass?).
5. The second group starts tearing into the first for their rigidity and inability to recognize the workings of the Holy Spirit outside of their liturgically pure parishes and challenges them to wake up and realize that hating on the poor is a sin, too, just like the big issues that get most of the press.
6. Everything degenerates into exchanges of personalities, until
7/1 redux: Pope Francis says or does something.
The disturbing thing about all of this is not that it's happening--internecine blog squabbling is part of the territory. The disturbing thing is that this is yet another instance where faithful Catholics end up spending all of our time and energy on these inside baseball fights instead of focusing on the real evils that threaten our world and what we can do about those things.
I'm as guilty of this as anybody, so this isn't a "look at all those silly people over there" post at all. But if Pope Francis has changed my way of thinking at all, it's that the things I write which make lukewarm Catholics reconsider their faith and lapsed Catholics think about checking things out again and non-Catholics get interested in this whole Catholic thing and non-Christians reconsider whether they've really heard Christ's message and might like to hear it if not are worth far, far more than the things I write where I get into deep arguments with other Catholics about things that, in the grand scheme of things, really don't matter (and aren't, often, the laity's business to muddle in in the first place).
Maybe as I gear up to return to regular blogging, I ought to keep that in mind. I can't promise no "inside baseball" posts, but I think--I hope!--I'll have better things to say, going forward.